The Battles of Connecticut Farms and Springfield, 1780 (Hardback)
By the spring of 1780, American fortunes were at a low point. Charleston, South Carolina, fell to British forces on May 12. At Morristown, New Jersey, George Washington’s army struggled to recover from the worst winter of the entire war. The national economy failing, his troops short of supplies and on the verge of mutiny, Washington prepared for an all-out assault on British-occupied New York City with the support of approaching French naval and land forces under General Rochambeau. The planned attack was a gamble born of desperation. Washington felt he had to risk it, or face certain defeat.
In New York City, German General Wilhelm von Knyphausen sensed opportunity. Commanding there in the absence of British General Henry Clinton, who was on his way back from Charleston, Knyphausen hoped that a quick strike into New Jersey could deliver a staggering blow to Washington’s weakened army. The June 7–8 Battle of Connecticut Farms, however, found American militia and Continentals to be shockingly stalwart. In a series of sharp engagements, fought hard on both sides, the Americans convinced Knyphausen to turn back. Clinton, fresh from his victory in the South, tried again on June 23 to end the war. His advance into New Jersey, intended to draw Washington into the open and perhaps capture Morristown, culminated in the Battle of Springfield. Once again, though, Washington’s hardened soldiers fought Clinton’s forces to a standstill.
The Battles for Connecticut Farms and Springfield, 1780, by distinguished historian Edward G. Lengel, chronicles these two important battles that marked a turning of the tide in the Revolutionary War. Drawing on newly available primary sources, the author presents a fresh and engaging interpretation of these events, which exposed King George III’s declining military fortunes in North America even as they revealed the resilience of George Washington’s army.